Local Agency Once Again Meeting the Needs of Its Community
Food for the Soul’s mission is a critical one – to serve our hungry and homeless brothers and sisters of Kershaw County. This homegrown organization constantly looks at the needs of the underserved and assists in generating solutions.
Open from Tuesday – Friday from 9 am-2 pm, Food for the Soul is where many folks take care of basic needs. Folks in need can eat a filling and nutritious breakfast or lunch, take a restorative shower, or get out of the weather. This facility is designed to provide those who feel hopeless and disheartened with a place where they can be sure to find kindness and respect.
In August 2016 Food for the Soul opened as a full-time overnight shelter for the homeless. Since that time nearly 200 homeless and stranded travelers have walked through their doors and taken advantage of their services. The organization has served over 16,000 meals this year alone. The agency helped stock the new Bethune Food pantry, and began serving lunch at the Bethune Women’s Center in May of this year.
Food for the Soul is once again adding to its slate of services. The North Central area of Boonetown will be added as an additional lunch site on Mondays. Also a free transportation service will be added to provide rides from the more rural and impoverished areas of our county.
Food for the Soul’s Executive Director Darlene Thomas stated, “There seemed to be a recurring need of matching the people to the resource that was not being met. The resources were there, but the ability to get to the resource, was not”. After much research, data collection, and prayer, two grants were attained to purchase a passenger van and concession trailer. On Monday’s the van will pull the concession trailer, drop off cooked meals at the Bethune Women’s Center. The vehicle will continue to Refuge Baptist Church where Food for the Soul will serve meals out of the trailer.
On Tuesday – Friday the van will pick people up from six designated spots throughout Kershaw County to Food for the Soul. Pick-up will be in the morning and a return trip provided in the afternoon. These areas were selected to receive the service due to low access to food, resources, and lack of transportation. Having this free service provides access not only to Food for the Soul but also to the Community Medical Clinic, Christian Community Ministry (CCM), Department of Social Services (DSS), Piggly Wiggly, and other businesses.
Via these added offerings, Food for the Soul can impact a larger number of citizens in need and bring people to resources that they would not be able to access without the help of the charity. Thomas added, “I have an incredible dedicated staff all of whom have a passion to help others.”